Pedro Molina

The Limits to Panic

We often hear how the world as we know it will end, usually through ecological collapse. Indeed, more than 40 years after the Club of Rome released the mother of all apocalyptic forecasts, The Limits to Growth, its basic ideas – though thoroughly discredited – are still shaping mindsets and influencing public policy.

COPENHAGEN – We often hear how the world as we know it will end, usually through ecological collapse. Indeed, more than 40 years after the Club of Rome released the mother of all apocalyptic forecasts, The Limits to Growth, its basic ideas are still with us. But time has not been kind.

The Limits to Growth warned humanity in 1972 that devastating collapse was just around the corner. But, while we have seen financial panics since then, there have been no real shortages or productive breakdowns. Instead, the resources generated by human ingenuity remain far ahead of human consumption.

But the report’s fundamental legacy remains: we have inherited a tendency to obsess over misguided remedies for largely trivial problems, while often ignoring big problems and sensible remedies.

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